Curated For a Life of Adventure

Making adventure a priority

Random Outdoor, LifeJohanna Stein

You might disagree with me but I think there are two things that stop most of us from taking adventures. The first is the pull of the mundane inertia of our everyday lives and the second is our own perception that we aren't the sort of person who ventures out. 

In this post, I'm going to talk about the ways I silence the siren's pull of all the little stuff. Yes, I am talking about that irrational desire to go get replacement light bulbs right now because a light is out. Or zeroing my inbox even though it is Saturday. Because it is crap like this that sometimes blocks my adventures. And I know I'm not the only one. 

First, in full disclosure, I am not a hard-core adventurer. I do not have rock hard abs from climbing or a passport with extra pages because I've been jet-setting to collect as many countries as I can. Instead, I am a real person who has found that trying new things gives me joy.

I define adventure as the act of discovery. Adventure can be something as simple as trying a salad with ingredients that you didn't think made sense together, like watermelon and cheese. These experiences lead to a change in perception and ultimately personal growth. 

Internalizing that Adventure is a priority

For adventuring to actually happen you have to feel like new experiences add value to your life. And honestly, that might feel counter-intuitive. You can just look at this long list of articles on the fear of change shared by the Huffington Post to get the picture.

But I have chosen to reject that perspective and to look at the science. Countless studies like this one from a team of psychologist at Standford Univeristy show that awe-inspiring experiences lead to an expanded sense of time and a better quality of life. I've also bought into the long-held approach presented by Abraham Maslow in his famous theory of "peak experiences" that to have moments of pure joy you need to cultivate a space for them to actually happen. 

Including Adventure on your to-do list 

The way I make adventures happen is by carving out time for them. You might think that just means straight-up planning vacations or activities that are centered around adventuring. Yes, that approach is part of it. But it is also about squeezing adventures in with your existing obligations. 

When it comes to squeezing in adventure my thought process is pretty simple. I look at what I am already doing in the course of our regular lives and then I add an element of discovery. An example of this would be adding a hike to a pre-existing lunch date because the location is proximate to trails. Or looking at the weekend's activities and keeping a few hours open to leave room for what serendipitously might seem fun.

In short, adventure comes from intentionally carving out space in your life for exploration. It won't happen unless you will it to happen.